My visual, audio and literary stuff is free here, but my hold-in-your-hands books, prints, and CDs cost real money. If you want to buy something tactile from me, contact me at stujenks at gmail dot com, or message me on Facebook. If you simply want to look and read for free, that's fine too, but don't hesitate to send me your sofa change. My snail mail address is P.O. Box 161, Tucson, Arizona 85702. Keep those cards and letters coming. And sofa change too. Love and light, Stu.
Images from top to bottom: "The Wall, West Of Naco, Montezuma Pass, Coronado National Monument, Arizona", "The Digital Wall, Montezuma Pass, Arizona" & "Trump Pinata, Tucson, Arizona" (c) 2017 Stu Jenks.
DIGITAL, PHYSICAL, AND PSYCHOLOGICAL WALLS by Stu Jenks.
There are already physical walls on the border. Lots of them. Also, The U.S. Border Patrol has very advanced digital monitoring systems all up and down the Arizona border. They have for years. I talked briefly with a couple of the officers yesterday and thanked them. I'm a progressive Democrat but I greatly appreciate the work these men and women do.
But I can only imagine what some of them must feel when they hear what Trump, their future boss, said in his press conference today, that the border is wide open, a complete mess, a disaster.
It is not wide open. Hasn't been for a long time. It is not a disaster.
You will be seeing more politic posts from me on Facebook, and on my website in the future. I really don't care if it affects the sale of my work. Fuck it. (By the way, I've closed my Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr accounts. Can't stand those platforms.)
I'm going back to Virginia and North Carolina next week to visit with friends and to see an ailing family member. (Say a prayer for Victoria and the Hardy family.) I'll also be in Washington, D.C. either on Inauguration Day or the day after. Plan is the visit the new African American Museum. Not sure yet which day I'll be there. Depends on a number of things. I'll keep you posted.
Lastly for today, I watched both Trump press conference and Obama farewell address this morning. I wonder what my British and Canadian friends must think, seeing the stark contrast between those two presentations. How could we go so wrong in our election, they must think?
Well, I can only speculate. And coulda, woulda, shoulda, we are long past that now. Donald Trump will be our President a week from Friday. I did predict Trump winning the nomination back on the Summer of 2015, but I didn't see him winning the general.
And I have another prediction today.
Trump will either be impeached or removed from office, probably in two years time if not sooner. It will take time to build a case against him either for mental instability or for corruption, using his influence with foreign governments to line his own pockets and that of his children. If things go south economically, and the Republicans get creamed in the midterms, look for President Pence in 2019.
But I could be dead wrong. Worse things could happen.
Trump will start a war, perhaps using small or large nuclear weapons, and what I write on my blog or on Facebook won't really matter very much.
Or there is this.
The percentage of the American people who support Trump and the Republicans (It's really only about 30% of all adults in America.) will continue to be misinformed at best or blatantly incurious and dumb at worse, blaming whatever bad things that happen on Obama or Clinton or whatever paper tiger they come up with. And about 10-20% of Americans are perfectly happy with a bully, a narcissist, a crazy man as President. (I heard people laughing in the room at the Trump press conference today when he was rude, obnoxious and insulting to reporters. He actually brought in Trump supporters to a press conference to mock the journalists.) Some Americans love this guy. He truly represents them. That is a fact. So things will get worse and the conservative media will gas-lighting the living shit out of it. And many people will believe the sky is blue when it is really black.
Enjoy my factual photos of how the Arizona/Mexico border is actually quite secured.
And pray for all of us.
And for Peter's sake, people, vote in the mid-terms in 2018. We can roll back this shit.
I've been asked to write for B & H Photo, regarding safety and etiquette when shooting nocturnal photography.
I've made my mistakes in the past. Yes I have. (See the chapter in my book "Flame Spirals" regarding the shooting of “Owl's Head Flame Spiral.” I had a white gas incident where I used too much of the fuel but I had a fire extinguisher at hand. And luckily within seconds, the flames dissipated. Dumb.)
I learned and grew from those mistakes. (See "Altar of Repose" where I created the illusion of the flame spiral, made with a Zippo lighter, being much closer to the lace than it actually was.)
I also changed lighting instruments over the years to be less dangerous. (See "My Ghost Likes To Travel" or "Abajo Mountain Hoop Dance" that were created with large hula hoops with Christmas lights attached.)
And of late, I've gone lighter, making it easier to hike into the wilds or around the cities. (See "Paris Hoop Dance," "Catawba Falls Hoop Dance," and “Avebury Hoop Dance” where I now use swinging strings of battery-powered LED Christmas lights.)
That's the progression of how my lightning instruments have changed in my 20-year career, but it just talks to how I make stuff. It doesn't speak to how to be a good person as I make stuff.
Here are some simple rules that I try to live by when shooting at night.
Rule One:Do no harm. Don't hurt the plants and trees, disturb the rocks, or make a mess on the streets. Go in, get the shot you want, and then leave the land or the cityscape as you found it.
Rule Two:Don't be a jerk. This is a big one and those of you who are jerks don't think you are. But you are nonetheless. You getting that cool shot at any cost. Good folk with morals and values feel guilty when they hurt the land or are loud and obnoxious around other people or burn an old abandoned store to the ground just to get that cool steel wool shot. Many photographers and people in general, feel no shame these days. We live in a very self-centered, shameless culture now. I don't know what to say to change that. Jerks are jerks. Some people just have to get The Shot. Whatever. I'm telling you, your photos are not as important as you think. Nor are you. For the good folk out there, (and I would include most everyone reading this article), just be the good man or woman you are. Be respectful. Be quiet. Be kind. Be generous. Be nice. Not only will you feel better, but your photographs will look better.
Rule Three:I quiet my mind as I unload the truck to go shoot at night. I say a little prayer. I take a deep breath. I close my eyes and meditate for a couple of seconds. I open my eyes in the full moon light and see what I see. I think. I feel. I plan. I throw away that plan and do something else. I breath. I breath again. I take a better photograph than the one I first had in mind. By quieting my mind, I open my eyes.
Rule Four:Bring at least two extra camera batteries. Bring at least two flashlights.
Rule Five:Hiking boots with hopefully good ankle support. Really. Even in the city. I mean it.
Rule Six:Don't fall off a cliff while shooting a shot. (See "Ghost Horses.” Dancing with that hula hoop of light was a little dicey there for a moment. It was a long way down. I almost went. Glad I didn't. My motto now? Don't die dumb.)
Rule Seven:As you load up your vehicle at the end of a shoot or sling your bag and tripod over your shoulder as you prepare to leave, turn back to where you've taken your photos and thank the land. Say it out loud. Say "Thank you." You, as an American, are living in a relatively safe country, where you can walk the city and trek into the woods and out into the desert, and shoot these images without the fear (mostly) of being shot and killed yourself. So show a bit of gratitude and thank the land that gave you this image and this experience. For me, it puts food on my table, but also puts joy in my heart.
Hope this helps, buckaroos. Be good out there shooting at night. Remember, the condition of your body and soul are more important than the pixels stored in your camera.
Below is the introduction/cautionary note to the readers of Victor Mothershead: U.S. Secret Service. My previous Step Zero novels have produced, how can I say it, some interesting and unexpected emails. ("Stu Jenks, you suck."). This intro was written to help quell some of nastier emails, if that's at all possible in the digital online wasteland of people with personality disorders. But I try.
And if you steal the ebook online, by striping out the code and putting it on a pier to pier site, to hell with you. I ain't going to pray against you, but I ain't going to pray very hard for you either.
Bottom Line? The new novel is out, and I'd like you to buy.
A Cautionary Note From The Author:
You hold in your hot little hands, either as an e-book or as a real-live-book-book, the fourth installment in my Step Zero series, but I believe some polite warnings to readers are needed here, given questions and concerns I have received in the past.
This is a stand alone novel but if you haven’t read Step Zero, the first book, or Air & Gravity, the second book, some of the plot twists, suspense reveals and arch conclusions here may spoil some of your enjoyment of those two previous books, if and when you read them. (Balthazar and Zeeba, the third book in the series, is a Christmas novel with its own individual side arch, which will not be affected by reading Victor Mothershead.)
Victor Mothershead: U.S. Secret Service is a hard R rated book as are Step Zero and Air & Gravity. There is a ton of cussing and a bit of sex in this book. Victor himself is a polite, soft spoken man who rarely speaks profanity but in the Step Zero world of 2079, particularly in the American Southwest, folks cuss like sailors on drunken leave and have sex like they will never ever screw again. It’s just how my characters roll. So if foul language and hot sex upset you, thanks for buying this book but you might want to give it to your college nephew to read. (Regarding the age appropriateness of this book, 17 years old and above seems about right. Use your best judgment. You know your kids.)
Many of my characters in the Step Zero universe believe in a spiritual force called God-Goddess-All-There-Is or GGATI. It’s a made up higher power by me, not affiliated with Wiccan or Pagan faiths (Not that there is anything wrong with those.) I was simply trying to expand the spirituality and religiosity of 2079 to include a specific feminine side as well as the masculine and universal aspects.
The politics of many of these characters is progressive and in some cases, specifically Democratic. The Presidents mentions in the Step Zero series are all Democrats. If you are a Republican or an Independent, and don’t agree with some of the policies mentions in this book, relax. It’s OK. This is speculative fiction. It’s the United States in the year 2079. I’ve just made this stuff up. Sasha Obama of course is a real young women today, but President Sasha Obama Fulbright and Vice President Florence Biden are completely made up people. You don’t have to agree with the politics here to enjoy this read. The characters are fun, the story I think is strong, and did I mention there is sex in this book?
Lastly, 12 Step fellowships play a major role in many of the characters’ lives in Victor Mothershead, U.S. Secret Service; one, a real program, Alcoholics Anonymous, the other, a fictional one, Mormon Tea Anonymous. None of the characters here represent any living or dead members of Alcoholic Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Cocaine Anonymous, Al-Anon or any other 12 Step groups. That being said, I have talked with many clean and sober members of these fellowships over the years and I have attended a few 12 Step meetings myself, but I will neither confirm nor deny if I personally belong to those groups. There are by-laws regarding anonymity of members speaking publicly. The problem is, if you thought I was in A.A., or C.A., or N.A., and you hated this book or disliked me personally or think in any way I poorly represent a particular recovery program, you might feel reticent to seek help from those 12 Step programs if you ever needed it. They tell me these by-laws or ‘Traditions’ are there to protect the fellowships from its own members’ mistakes, yet recovering people want very much to be available and to help everyone, regardless of gender, race, color, creed, economic situation, and political leaning. Bottom line is no one in this book is any one person in A.A., but the views of some of the characters do reflect the beliefs of some members of those Fellowships.
I truly hope you enjoy this book. I’ve enjoyed making it for you.
Keep your lamp trimmed and burning, and as President Fulbright often said: “Be nice.”
Stu Jenks Spring, 2016 Studio BR-549 Tucson, Arizona
All photographs by Stu Jenks. Book design and layout by Gail Cross of Desert Isle Designs, Mesa, Arizona.
Balthazar and Zeeba: A Christmas Novella is now for sale in all three formats; hardbound book, e-book and audiobook. It's an all-ages book. No sex or profanity. Most kids and parents will be fine with it. It's a Christmas book, don't you know. The story is set in the Step Zero world, but it is a stand-alone book, namely you need not have read any of the other Step Zero books to enjoy this one. A book you can enjoy year round as well as during Yuletide.
So push those buttons, type those words and we'll get Balthazar and Zeeba: A Christmas Novella the hardbound book to you in a couple of days. And you can buy the e-book and the audiobook immediately online where ever those products are sold. And thanks again for supporting Fezziwig Press.
Love, light, and luck,
P.S. Special hidden offer at the bottom of the post for 2015: Contact Fezziwig Press directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will send you a free epub and pdf of Baltazar and Zeeba via email. And thanks for reading y'all.
I was just at a Starbuck's buying an Egg Nog Latte, when a homeless woman came in and asked the clerk, "Do you have anything for just a dollar?"
I'm not struggling like her obviously, but as my father used to say, "It's not what you make but what you spend." And having my own business, Fezziwig Press, costs money and my little company isn't making enough money right now.
So I'm doing an Amanda Fucking Palmer thing. If I don't ask, you don't know to give.
Fezziwig Press and I have been struggling financially for the last year or so. Namely, I'm not quite breaking even, still a few hundred dollars in the red each month, even with my part time counseling gig and all. I'm making some sales with image rights, book sales, music sales, etc, but not like I did five to ten years ago. So I'm putting out the artistic begging bowl. And I'm giving shit away.
The Transpersonal Papers (1861-2010) was released in 2011. Cost a boat load to produce but I only sold seven ebook copies. (Thank you to the seven, by the way.) So I'm offering it today, to you all, for free.
If you like The Transpersonal Papers, or the StuBlog, or my work, I ask that you give a little money to my Paypal account. My log-in is my email address, stujenks at gmail dot com, spelled like you normally would type it. Donate to my Paypal, or buy some books, or send money to P.O.Box 161, Tucson, AZ 85702. Whatever you like. No expectations, but if I don't ask, you don't know. And of course, if you don't give, that's perfectly all right too. We're all tight these days, don't I know. Or you just might not like my stuff that much. It's all good, as the kids say. Except for my ever-shrinking savings account.
I hope you enjoy the photographs and the stories in this book. Perhaps someday I'll have enough money to print it as a large coffee table book, like it was originally envisioned. Perhaps not, but you can have it right now for free. Enjoy.
Pamela's Baby Rocking Chair (The Deaths of Pamela and Mary Jenks), the book, is now for sale.
Here's how you can purchase it.
1) Within a few days, the PBRC book, will be at Tucson Touch Therapies here in Tucson, at the northeast corner of Alvernon and Pima.
2) Or make an appointment by emailing me at email@example.com and you can purchase one at my studio, here in Tucson, at 549 N. 7th Ave. $24.95 plus sales tax. $26.97 total.
3) Or I can Priority Mail you a copy. I take checks. I take Paypal (log into my Paypal account using my email address.) I take Square. I take cash. I take tamales. Really. A dozen tamales gets you a book. Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or log into my Paypal or Facebook me with your address, method of payment, etc. $24.95 plus sales tax if you are local. No sales taxes outside of Tucson and Arizona. And I ship everything Priority Mail so add $6.95 to your order. One to three books will be just $6.95 shipping. Four or more, it'll be more. Total, in Tucson: 33.92 Priority. Total, outside of Tucson: $31.90 Priority.
4) Or find me on the street. I'll have a box of books in the truck of Mary's Buick for a few weeks at least.
The books look great. They smell good too like new books do.
And for those of you who have pre-ordered the PBRC book, I'm heading to the post office in about an hour. Look for them in your mailbox in the next day or three.
And as a special free treat to those who buy Step Zero, I'll send you a pdf of The Lost Images of Step Zero, a hundred plus images that didn't make the final edit, but are a nice adjunct to the Step Zero experience, whatever that means. Just send me a Facebook message or an email at email@example.com and I'll send the PDF right to you.
So push those buttons and buy those books, boys and girls, for baby needs a new pair of shoes.
From The Lost Images Of Steps Zero PDF:
Top to bottom, "A Rose For Chessie, California", "Matt Antone's Ginger, Arizona", "The 41 Nights, Arizona", and "Michael and Chessie's Moon, California".
A very good day at Fezziwig Press. The softcover, first edition of Step Zero: A Sober Love Story In 2076 is now for sale, ahead of schedule.
The digital editions of Step Zero will hopefully be available on your iPad, Nook and Kindle and other digital platforms by November 1st. The files have been uploaded and we are just waiting to hear back when they will available for download. We'll let you know.
And if you live in Tucson area, you can buy the book at Tucson Tucson Therapies at Alvernon and Pima, starting Friday, October 26th, 2012, and you can purchase the novel, right now, at Betty Blue's Junk Shop at 262 S. Plumer. All books at Betty Blue's and T3 are signed and I'll be happy to sign and personalize any book purchased through The Fezziwig Press Store.
Again, the ebooks version will be up very soon. I love ebooks. I truly do. But there is nothing like holding a book book in your hands. And you can hold the first edition of Step Zero in your hands right now.
Image: "Queen Esther Baptist Church, Lancaster, Virginia" (c) 2011 Stu Jenks (Just down River Road from Victoria's house. Love that luscious red carpet. And for you nocturnals out there, it was handheld. Rare for me.)
In this time of making photos on iPhones and Macbook Pros and only looking on screens, I forget I'm a old-school guy. I make a 8 1/2 x 11 work print on archival paper of EVERY image I make. EVERY one. It's the only way, for me, to accurately check for color shift, density, composition, etc. I really like my iPad screen but it's no way to make a good print.
And I have hundreds, if not thousands, of work prints artist proofs at my studio.
If you see an image of mine on The StuBlog or on my old website or on the Fezziwig Press Store or in any of my books, there's a beautiful small print in a box somewhere, perhaps with your name on it. And since I'm organized, I can find it.
Many of you can't afford my larger prints. I understand. I don't have an extra 50 or 100 lying around either. But I do have an extra $20 for stuff I really like.
So if you see an image of mine on any of my sites or in any of my books and you want it, it's yours for $25, shipping, handling and tax included. (I believe in paying taxes, sales and otherwise.)
Just email me at my facebook page or through the StuBlog or at firstname.lastname@example.org, and tell me what print you would like or just pull the jpeg and send that to me.
I was just watching the Tarhells lose today in basketball, working on images at my computer when I thought, 'I bet people don't realize I have boxes of work prints here.'
You all do now.
Love and light,
p.s. Ignore the catagories belows. The computer went wacky. Another reason why I prefer a print in the hand as opposed to an image in The Cloud.
The first draft of the novel is done!!! It came in at 149,000 words, 552 pages in my document. Yeaaaa! I can't tell you how good it feels. The ending made me cry, as I hope it does you. (Last word in the novel, which won't change in revision: Sighs.) I want to jump right back to the beginning and start revisions, but Mary Ann suggests I take more than just a couple days off. OK. I'll take off three or four days. LOL. But then it's fixing this and revising that, then off to the editors. And I have ideas for the next novel in this series, too. I have some pretty great characters, I think, and I want to see what they will do next. But first things first. Get this novel to print.
One serious note: It took about a year to write this novel, but it almost didn't get done. With Mary and Pamela dying and all, I didn't work on it for about six weeks and it was so hard to get my momentum back. But I did. But it was difficult. If you are working on a novel or a large work, I recommend you plow through, even if the field is frozen. I've been told I'm very lucky to have gotten back on track.
Speaking of track, good luck to Danica Patrick tomorrow in the Daytona 500 and in the rest of Sprint Cup and Nationwide races this season. I might just have to go up to PHX next Saturday to watch her race.
By the way, did I mention I finished the freaking first draft of the novel?